Best places for backpackers for 7 percent and that of automotive dealers 17.5 percent. The inventory/sales ratio of all retail stores in December 2002, amounted to 1.31. Since unsold inventory is a cost item, retailers want to minimize this ratio (without, at the same time, defaulting on customer requests for readily available merchandise); smaller ratios indicate that merchandise is turned over faster. For motor-vehicle and parts dealers, this ratio is (without seasonal adjustment) as high as 2.07, for food and beverage stores as low as 0. Best places for backpackers 2016.